This week has been a doozy. Besides work and social “thangs,” I’ve also been researching how I wanted to do this whole “better eating thing.” If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I am a bit of sweetaholic. My dentist can attest to that. I love candy. You know, the chewy, get stuck in your teeth kind. I once described one of my favorite candies to her as long chewy tubes of candy straws filled with a sour paste that has the consistency of toothpaste. Her eyes got big and she said “Dear God, PLEASE stop eating that kind of stuff!” I laughed, but now floss after eating my candy craves.
I love chocolate. I could fib and tell you I eat only the darkest of the dark. That it comes from Ethiopia and the cocoa beans are fair trade and grown organically in rich volcanic soil…… But that’d be a lie. One big ol’ fat lie. I love Snickers. I adore Hershey’s Miniatures. Peanut M & M’s. It’s all fair
game to me. For the most part, I can control my chocolate hankerings until that dark, dark week approaches (cue the lightening storm). You know, that one in every woman’s monthly planner. And then it’s no holds barred.
I’ve read a lot lately about sugar. I’ve mentioned the atrocious amount that I pour into my morning cup (only one cup usually) each day. It actually didn’t even bother me that much (how much sugar I add to stuff) until I read the amounts of sugar that are dumped into most of the foods that I personally enjoy on a regular basis. It also made me realize how much processed food I actually consume. I’m busy. You’re busy! We are all BUSY! Who has time to think about, much less make, breakfast in the morning? Especially if you’re a parent. I usually grab a breakfast bar or even eat one of those disposable cereal bowls that naturally contain a ton of added….sugar..that I throw down my gullet sans the milk. Remember, I’m busy!
These recipes are mediterranean recipes with the exception of the breakfast. It is paleo. There are a few ideas from the paleo diet that I want to incorporate into my new eating habits like the breakfast recipes. I’m also interested in making Paleo sauerkraut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut
are really good for your digestive track and help keep the guts good bacteria in check while also boosting your immune system. That recipe though I’ll save for another cook day.
Long story short, this post is a meal plan for breakfast lunch and dinner. The recipe is enough for two large breakfast portions. I really don’t want to make more than that because I’m not interested in eating the same thing day after day all week long. I’d rather make use of the same ingredients and make something different with each ingredient if possible.
- Home Fries with pork and kale breakfast bowl
- Kale salad with roasted sweet potato, pecans, and shaved Parm dressed with a Pomegranate vinaigrette (optionally topped with roasted shredded chicken)
- Roasted lemon thyme chicken quarters with brussels sprouts and sweet potato
This took a good 2 hours to prep everything and cook. I started with the chicken since it’s total cook time is 1 1/2 hours, and while the chicken baked I prepped everything else including tossing the whole sweet potato in the oven at the same time as the chicken.
2 Chicken quarters
1/2 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 Tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 300°. Rinse chicken and remove any excess fat or skin that’s hanging. Rinse away any organ meat that may be stuck in the back bone of the chicken. Pat dry. Gently lift skin off thigh and leg but do not detach. Season with salt and pepper and place a slice or two of lemon and 2 sprigs of thyme on top and gently replace skin. Rub skin with softened butter and salt and pepper. Top with lemon and thyme and place in foil lined baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
*Start prepping Veggies
One Sweet potato: prick skin all over with tines of fork or sharp knife and place on aluminum foil on rack in oven with chicken.
1/3 pound brussels Sprouts and One Sweet Potato: Cut off stem ends of brussels sprouts and cut each in half. Peel and dice one small sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes. Toss in a about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2 cups Kale: Remove thick stem from kale and chop into bite size pieces. This will be used for the salad and the breakfast dish. Set to side.
Russet potatoes: Rinse potatoes well and leave skin on. Cut into 1/2″ cubes.
*Make the Breakfast Dish
Home Fries with Pork and Kale
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, I used Paul Pruhomme’s
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 small russet potatoes, like baby baby potatoes, or 1 large
1 cup kale, chopped for this recipe
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat oil in non stick pan on medium heat and add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and toss to coat in oil. Let sit in even layer in pan for about two to three minutes until the potatoes start to brown. Stir potatoes gently and let cook and brown on all sides and cooked through, another 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove potatoes from pan and set to side. In same pan add pork and seasoning and cook about 3 minutes, breaking meat apart as you stir. Add chopped kale and cook until pork is no longer pink. Stir in potatoes. Serve.
I portion this into two bowls to have for my breakfast for two days.
Right about now, your chicken is probably hitting the one hour mark in the oven. Turn the heat up to 425°. Uncover your chicken. Turn that pan sideways and throw in in your sheet pan full of brussels and sweet potatoes. Turn your whole sweet potato over and set your timer for 15 minutes. Check your veggies and if fork tender remove from oven. If not cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Move chicken to center of oven to get skin browned evenly. Let chicken cook another 10 minutes and remove from oven along with sweet potato.
Serve chicken with brussels sprouts and baked sweet potato topped how you like it. I made mine with a pat of butter and a spoon of maple syrup. The second chicken quarter can be shredded and used to top your kale salad or had with another dinner meal if you want to bake off two potatoes and more brussels sprouts.
*Make the Salad
Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Parmesan, Pecans and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1/2 Sweet potato, diced in 1/2″ cubes and roasted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup curly leaf kale, chopped
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup pecans, halves or pieces
Shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Make vinaigrette. Massage kale through hands for about a minute or so until the leaves
start to glisten, wilt, and turn dark. Toss in arugula. Add dressing to your liking. Add in additional ingredients. Serve.
Note: This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, ” The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook”
The above makes enough for one large salad but since most of us can’t buy vegetables in small amounts you’ll probably have kale and arugula left over…and parm, and pecans. So, you’ll have plenty for more servings if needed. I made the vinaigrette exactly as it’s made in the book and kept the portion size the same to use throughout the week for my other salads, or to have for a marinade.
I realized after this cooking session that I do NOT like raw kale. I don’t. I made a kale salad back in December for this blog and although I appreciate kale and all it’s fibrous green beauty, I’ll pass on it being used raw in a dish. I feel like a cow chewing cud. Besides that, raw kale just smells like chlorophyll to me. Or at least how I THINK chlorophyll smells. It’s just a “Nah, I’m good!” for me from here on out. The salad vinaigrette and other ingredients get a thumbs up, but next time I’ll use spinach instead with the arugula.
What do you like to make/have for breakfast each day? If you had the time and inclination what kind of breakfast would you prepare to start your day and why? Leave a comment below:)